Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

jmcc5400

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Sort of random Tatum awesomeness I just came across: At the age of 24, he is already 100th all time in playoff points.
I became slightly obsessed with tracking this last year during the playoffs. There are 17 active players ahead of him, all, except for Giannis, over 30. Of the other 83, 61 are hall of famers (and there are at least another half-dozen certain HOFers who just aren't eligible yet, like Dirk for example).

Jaylen is 141st, incidentally. Giannis, Tatum, Jaylen and Jokic are the only players under 30 in the all time top 200.

Quite a playoff resume our guys are developing.
 

RorschachsMask

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I know net rating isn’t everything, but these are the Celtics net ratings with these players OFF the court. I only post it because the gap between Tatum and next closest is 6 points, which is fucking absurd for a team this good. The Warriors and Nuggets don’t even have gaps nearly that big from Jokic/Steph to their next closest player. Part of it is rotations and who they play with, but god damn it doesn’t matter who Tatum is out there with.
59002
 

benhogan

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I know net rating isn’t everything, but these are the Celtics net ratings with these players OFF the court. I only post it because the gap between Tatum and next closest is 6 points, which is fucking absurd for a team this good. The Warriors and Nuggets don’t even have gaps nearly that big from Jokic/Steph to their next closest player. Part of it is rotations and who they play with, but god damn it doesn’t matter who Tatum is out there with.
View attachment 59002
Derrick White doesn't get enough love (or minutes)
 

mostman

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Yikes. That makes JB look bad. Especially since half his minutes are with Tatum. +/- isn’t great though.
 

benhogan

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Yikes. That makes JB look bad. Especially since half his minutes are with Tatum. +/- isn’t great though.
agreed, in the short term its noise

over a year (s), +/- combined with looking at ON/OFF is much more useful.

JB has always had a positive +/- since his rookie year. His ON/OFF varies but is mostly due to playing on the same team as Tatum
 

Eddie Jurak

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Including postseason, a Celtic has scored 50+ points in a game 21 times.
  • Jayson Tatum has 7 of them, in 483 games: 60, 54, 53, 51, 50, 50 (playoff), 50 (play in)
  • Larry Bird had 4, in 1,061 games: 60, 53, 50, 50
  • Isaiah Thomas had 2, in 575 games: 53 (playoff), 52
  • Sam Jones had 2, in 1,025 games: 51 (playoff), 51
  • Kevin McHale had 1, in 1,140 games: 56
  • John Havlicek had 1, in 1,442 games: 54 (playoff)
  • Ray Allen had 1, in 449 games as a Celtic (for his whole career he had 2 in 1,471 games): 51 (playoff)
  • Bob Cousy had 1, in 1,033 games: 50 (playoff)
  • Jaylen Brown had 1, in 528 games: 50
  • Paul Pierce had 1 in 1,238 games as a Celtic (1,513 for his whole career): 50
That's pretty amazing, especially when you consider that of all of those players, Tatum has the fewest games.

Interestingly, Tatum has only one 49 point game, while Bird had 3. So count 49+ point games instead of 50 and Tatum has 8 and Bird 7. And Antoine Walker has one.

If you look at 48 point games, Bird had 3 and Pierce one. So Bird 10, Tatum 8.

Edit: Steph has never done 50 in the playoffs. So he has 11 NBA 50s. Tatum has 7 already. Unreal.
 
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m0ckduck

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Including postseason, a Celtic has scored 50+ points in a game 21 times.
  • Jayson Tatum has 7 of them, in 483 games: 60, 54, 53, 51, 50, 50 (playoff), 50 (play in)
  • Larry Bird had 4, in 1,061 games: 60, 53, 50, 50
  • Isaiah Thomas had 2, in 575 games: 53 (playoff), 52
  • Sam Jones had 2, in 1,025 games: 51 (playoff), 51
  • Kevin McHale had 1, in 1,140 games: 56
  • John Havlicek had 1, in 1,442 games: 54 (playoff)
  • Ray Allen had 1, in 449 games as a Celtic (for his whole career he had 2 in 1,471 games): 51 (playoff)
  • Bob Cousy had 1, in 1,033 games: 50 (playoff)
  • Jaylen Brown had 1, in 528 games: 50
  • Paul Pierce had 1 in 1,238 games as a Celtic (1,513 for his whole career): 50
That's pretty amazing, especially when you consider that of all of those players, Tatum has the fewest games.

Interestingly, Tatum has only one 49 point game, while Bird had 3. So count 49+ point games instead of 50 and Tatum has 8 and Bird 7. And Antoine Walker has one.

If you look at 48 point games, Bird had 3 and Pierce one. So Bird 10, Tatum 8.

Edit: Steph has never done 50 in the playoffs. So he has 11 NBA 50s. Tatum has 7 already. Unreal.
I know this isn't the point, but what most jumped out at me from those numbers is that Tatum has already played 45% the number of games Bird played. It's been commented plenty before, but: Bird essentially spent 5 years in college and then was in steep decline after his age 31 season.
 

Jimbodandy

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I know this isn't the point, but what most jumped out at me from those numbers is that Tatum has already played 45% the number of games Bird played. It's been commented plenty before, but: Bird essentially spent 5 years in college and then was in steep decline after his age 31 season.
It is remarkable. Much of that is the differences in era. Sure Bird lost an extra year with the transfer, but most guys were 21/22yo rookies. If you look at the 1980 draft, 4 out of 23 in the first round played more than 10 years.

Amazing that guys now come out at 18/19 and with modern medicine and nutrition can expect to play close to 40 absent bad luck.
 

Koufax

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I've been trying to think of a comparable player and I keep coming back to Julius Erving. Granted, Tatum is probably better defensively that Erving was, but they were/are both prolific scorers who mix creativity, athleticism and a variety of shots styles. Some of their statistics are pretty close.

Who do you think is a fair comp for JT?
 

joe dokes

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I've been trying to think of a comparable player and I keep coming back to Julius Erving. Granted, Tatum is probably better defensively that Erving was, but they were/are both prolific scorers who mix creativity, athleticism and a variety of shots styles. Some of their statistics are pretty close.

Who do you think is a fair comp for JT?
Ha. There was one play yesterday where I had that thought. I saw a lot of Julius's ABA days on local NY TV. What made Julius remarkable was that, even in the ABA, he wasn't much of a long range threat. Tatum has an advantage there. At the same time, though, if 90+% of Tatum's shots were 2-pointers i dont think he'd be nearly as successful as J. OTTH--different eras with different shooting priorities.
 

Jimbodandy

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I've been trying to think of a comparable player and I keep coming back to Julius Erving. Granted, Tatum is probably better defensively that Erving was, but they were/are both prolific scorers who mix creativity, athleticism and a variety of shots styles. Some of their statistics are pretty close.

Who do you think is a fair comp for JT?
There's definitely some of J in his game. That's a great catch. I see some Bird too, the way that he just casually shoots over people due to the high release (and the better shooting). But he snakes his way to the rim and finishes a lot like peak J.

edit: to be fair, I mean "peak NBA J". 1970s Julius had a bit more athleticism than Tatum.
 

Kliq

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I've been trying to think of a comparable player and I keep coming back to Julius Erving. Granted, Tatum is probably better defensively that Erving was, but they were/are both prolific scorers who mix creativity, athleticism and a variety of shots styles. Some of their statistics are pretty close.

Who do you think is a fair comp for JT?
I was thinking Tracy McGrady as a scorer at least. Durant as a more complete player.

What really impressed me last night with Tatum was his ability to handle double-teams, something that he lacked earlier in his career. With no Brown, it was an obvious choice by Charlotte to start double-teaming Tatum, but he was so quick and decisive with the ball when he saw it coming, he constantly made them pay for it. He attacked the rushing close out by dribbling by them, he quickly moved the ball to a capable shooter/playmaker (of which there are many) on the team, he passed the ball and then quickly moved away from the trap into vacant space, opening up the rest of the floor for his teammates and getting himself open to get the ball back. It was a brilliant, cerebral performance by a player that has all the skills and physical talent to dominate a game, but now also possesses the experience and intelligence as well.
 

Jimbodandy

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I was thinking Tracy McGrady as a scorer at least. Durant as a more complete player.

What really impressed me last night with Tatum was his ability to handle double-teams, something that he lacked earlier in his career. With no Brown, it was an obvious choice by Charlotte to start double-teaming Tatum, but he was so quick and decisive with the ball when he saw it coming, he constantly made them pay for it. He attacked the rushing close out by dribbling by them, he quickly moved the ball to a capable shooter/playmaker (of which there are many) on the team, he passed the ball and then quickly moved away from the trap into vacant space, opening up the rest of the floor for his teammates and getting himself open to get the ball back. It was a brilliant, cerebral performance by a player that has all the skills and physical talent to dominate a game, but now also possesses the experience and intelligence as well.
That's a great point. Part of this year's "leveling up" is that he will punish you with quick, smart decisions when you try to trap/double. There was some progress on this front last year too, but he's so decisive now and almost always makes the right play. The other leap is that guys are bouncing off him even faster and harder than ever before. When he crashes the rim, he's holding his line and finishing through contact kinda like Giannis. WTF do you do against that?
 

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There is no bigger fan around here of Larry Bird than I----but Tatum is on trajectory to be the best pure scorer the Celtics have ever had. He's just so smooth and versatile as a scorer, and has the nose for the basket.

He'll never match Bird's drive, passing, or rebounding and those all matter (in aggregate) more....but Tatum is a profile the Celtics have not really had. The closest is really Pierce, who wasn't as natural as Tatum is or as versatile

Do not think TMAC is a super close comp, he's vastly more athletic and very different in the way he scored and way he defended (not sure he was a better defensive player, but very different). Julius Erving is closer to me, as is Durant. Erving was far more acrobatic, but Tatum has a chance to reach same level of impact. Durant is (of course) a much better shooter but not the driver that Tatum already is. Erving is the reverse, really.

Offensively, there's a bit of Alex English there....Tatum is a much better defensive player. Basketball Reference has Carmelo as number one comp---that's not horrible either, at least not offensively...different games at that end up but not wholly dissimilar impact. Defensively, well....I'd rather have Tatum
 
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Euclis20

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There is no bigger fan around here of Larry Bird than I----but Tatum is on trajectory to be the best pure scorer the Celtics have ever had. He's just so smooth and versatile as a scorer, and has the nose for the basket.

He'll never match Bird's drive, passing, or rebounding and those all matter (in aggregate) more....but Tatum is a profile the Celtics have not really had. The closest is really Pierce, who wasn't as natural as Tatum is or as versatile

Do not think TMAC is a super close comp, he's vastly more athletic and very different in the way he scored and way he defended (not sure he was a better defensive player, but very different). Julius Erving is closer to me, as is Durant. Erving was far more acrobatic, but Tatum has a chance to reach same level of impact. Durant is (of course) a much better shooter but not the driver that Tatum already is. Erving is the reverse, really.

Offensively, there's a bit of Alex English there....Tatum is a much better defensive player. Basketball Reference has Carmelo as number one comp---that's not horrible either, at least not offensively...different games at that end up but not wholly dissimilar impact. Defensively, well....I'd rather have Tatum
Agree with most of this, but would like to push back on Pierce not being as versatile. He's most known around here for his elbow jumpers, but until about 2 years ago he was the only player in NBA history who was top 10 in both career 3PMs and top 10 in career FTMs (Lebron and Harden have since joined him and pushed him out of the former). He was not quite as athletic as Tatum but he was a lot stronger, and could score at all 3 levels in a variety of ways. In terms of a pure scoring, it's gonna be really close between the two. We'll see how good Tatum ends up being.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Agree with most of this, but would like to push back on Pierce not being as versatile. He's most known around here for his elbow jumpers, but until about 2 years ago he was the only player in NBA history who was top 10 in both career 3PMs and top 10 in career FTMs (Lebron and Harden have since joined him and pushed him out of the former). He was not quite as athletic as Tatum but he was a lot stronger, and could score at all 3 levels in a variety of ways. In terms of a pure scoring, it's gonna be really close between the two. We'll see how good Tatum ends up being.
Fair enough--what I would say is not that Pierce lacks offensive versatility, but that Tatum is both better as a driver (this year only) and a post-up player than Pierce (who really never had a post game, unsurprisingly). But each can play at three levels for sure, and Pierce is probably the next-best pure scorer Celtics have had and an underrated one at that. Pierce may have had a better mid-range game and was better driving early than Tatum....
 

RorschachsMask

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I’ve always thought he’s a hard guy to find a comp for, because he’s integrated parts of so many players in his game. I see some Paul George, Durant, T-Mac, Kobe, Melo, Pierce, even some Dirk with the one legged fadeaways.

One thing that Tatum gets a bunch of credit for throughout the league, and with the good writers is his willingness to set so many screens. Whether it’s to get him the ball, or setting back screens to get other guys open looks, there isn’t a wing in the league today who does it nearly as often. Pierce is a guy who did it a ton, and would just wreck defenses from the nail once he got the ball back.
 

Kliq

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Fair enough--what I would say is not that Pierce lacks offensive versatility, but that Tatum is both better as a driver (this year only) and a post-up player than Pierce (who really never had a post game, unsurprisingly). But each can play at three levels for sure, and Pierce is probably the next-best pure scorer Celtics have had and an underrated one at that. Pierce may have had a better mid-range game and was better driving early than Tatum....
Pierce in his prime played in a drastically different NBA, and NBA with toilet-clogged offenses and bigger defenders that were permitted to play more physically. Plus, during Pierce's era offenses were still largely slaves to having a PG handle the ball all the time, even if that PG was Tony Delk or Sebastian Telfair. Today, the best perimeter players are freed up much more frequently to be the primary ball handler on offense. In Pierce's highest scoring year (2004-2005), teams shot on average, 16 three attempts per game and the league had an offensive rating of 106. This year, teams average 34 three attempts per game and an offensive rating of 114.

If you put Pierce in this era, with much better spacing, less restrictive defense and a bigger role as the primary ball handler, I think he is closer to Tatum's playing style. With fewer traditional PFs on the floor, you might even see more of a post-game from Pierce because there would theoretically be more smaller defenders on the court for him to exploit.

I think Tatum is better than Pierce, he's more of a complete player and Pierce was never a Top 5 player in the NBA the way Tatum is at the moment, but I think the differences in offensive style and efficiency are more era-based than anything. Pierce played the way that good perimeter players played in the 2000s, and Tatum plays the way good perimeter players play in the 2020s.
 

Skiponzo

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There is no bigger fan around here of Larry Bird than I----but Tatum is on trajectory to be the best pure scorer the Celtics have ever had. He's just so smooth and versatile as a scorer, and has the nose for the basket.

He'll never match Bird's drive, passing, or rebounding and those all matter (in aggregate) more....but Tatum is a profile the Celtics have not really had. The closest is really Pierce, who wasn't as natural as Tatum is or as versatile

Do not think TMAC is a super close comp, he's vastly more athletic and very different in the way he scored and way he defended (not sure he was a better defensive player, but very different). Julius Erving is closer to me, as is Durant. Erving was far more acrobatic, but Tatum has a chance to reach same level of impact. Durant is (of course) a much better shooter but not the driver that Tatum already is. Erving is the reverse, really.

Offensively, there's a bit of Alex English there....Tatum is a much better defensive player. Basketball Reference has Carmelo as number one comp---that's not horrible either, at least not offensively...different games at that end up but not wholly dissimilar impact. Defensively, well....I'd rather have Tatum
That's IT! I've been thinking for awhile about who he reminds me of when he gets into the lane. I kept going to the Iceman but it just wasn't right. AE is the guy he reminds me of....Thanks!
 

Reverend

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I think Tatum is better than Pierce, he's more of a complete player and Pierce was never a Top 5 player in the NBA the way Tatum is at the moment, but I think the differences in offensive style and efficiency are more era-based than anything. Pierce played the way that good perimeter players played in the 2000s, and Tatum plays the way good perimeter players play in the 2020s.
I think this is right… now. But what age Pierce are we talking about? As @RorschachsMask points out, Tatum is still adding moves to his game, yeah?

How old was Kobe when he added Jordan’s fall-away jumper to his game? How old was Jordan when he developed it to compensate for his declining athleticism?
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think this is right… now. But what age Pierce are we talking about? As @RorschachsMask points out, Tatum is still adding moves to his game, yeah?

How old was Kobe when he added Jordan’s fall-away jumper to his game? How old was Jordan when he developed it to compensate for his declining athleticism?
Tatum is already past prime-Pierce. Even Pierce at his best was never an MVP candidate and never a 1st Team All-NBA selection which Tatum should achieve this year. In fact, he only made 2nd Teams once and that was when KG came to allow him to flourish.
 

Reverend

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Tatum is already past prime-Pierce. Even Pierce at his best was never an MVP candidate and never a 1st Team All-NBA selection which Tatum should achieve this year. In fact, he only made 2nd Teams once and that was when KG came to allow him to flourish.
:banana::banana::banana:
 

Eddie Jurak

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This guy Tatum is probably the biggest and most famous current player in Boston sports right now. Love Devers, but most casual sports fans know who Tatum is.
Yes. Brown might join him in the top 4.
Pierce played the way that good perimeter players played in the 2000s, and Tatum plays the way good perimeter players play in the 2020s.
Yes, although in Pierce's day I always thought that most of the elite wings were shooting guards who could also play small forward, while Pierce was a small forward who could get by as a 2 guard. He was a much better rebounder for example than even his better peers.
 

Euclis20

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Yes. Brown might join him in the top 4.

Yes, although in Pierce's day I always thought that most of the elite wings were shooting guards who could also play small forward, while Pierce was a small forward who could get by as a 2 guard. He was a much better rebounder for example than even his better peers.
It's funny because in today's NBA he'd definitely be playing the 4 most of the time. 6'7 (with a 7'3 wingspan) and 235 pounds? If he's your 3rd biggest guy, that's a huge frontcourt.
 

Kliq

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Yes. Brown might join him in the top 4.

Yes, although in Pierce's day I always thought that most of the elite wings were shooting guards who could also play small forward, while Pierce was a small forward who could get by as a 2 guard. He was a much better rebounder for example than even his better peers.
Pierce also played in a much more strict era of positional interpretation, as opposed to today which just has small guards/wings/bigs.
 

m0ckduck

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There is no bigger fan around here of Larry Bird than I----but Tatum is on trajectory to be the best pure scorer the Celtics have ever had. He's just so smooth and versatile as a scorer, and has the nose for the basket.

He'll never match Bird's drive, passing, or rebounding and those all matter (in aggregate) more....but Tatum is a profile the Celtics have not really had. The closest is really Pierce, who wasn't as natural as Tatum is or as versatile

Do not think TMAC is a super close comp, he's vastly more athletic and very different in the way he scored and way he defended (not sure he was a better defensive player, but very different). Julius Erving is closer to me, as is Durant. Erving was far more acrobatic, but Tatum has a chance to reach same level of impact. Durant is (of course) a much better shooter but not the driver that Tatum already is. Erving is the reverse, really.

Offensively, there's a bit of Alex English there....Tatum is a much better defensive player. Basketball Reference has Carmelo as number one comp---that's not horrible either, at least not offensively...different games at that end up but not wholly dissimilar impact. Defensively, well....I'd rather have Tatum
Agree that Erving and Durant are Tatum-adjacent but not mirror images. English is a good comp. The other one that occurs to me— purely when it comes to shooting and scoring— is Dominique Wilkins. Both slender, muscular players, dynamic athletes, great shooting stroke, and can also drive and finish to both directions. Both sublimely smooth and fluid players. Wilkins was a more elite leaper; Tatum's all-around game is of course much more developed. Tatum's aggressivity reminds me more of Nique than English, who was more mild-mannered.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Pierce also played in a much more strict era of positional interpretation, as opposed to today which just has small guards/wings/bigs.
Yes, but my point is the opposite of that. Pierce was physically different from his peers. Talented enough to play the 2 sometimes, but obviously bigger stronger guy more suited to the frontcourt than, say, Kobe.
 

Eddie Jurak

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There is no bigger fan around here of Larry Bird than I----but Tatum is on trajectory to be the best pure scorer the Celtics have ever had. He's just so smooth and versatile as a scorer, and has the nose for the basket.

He'll never match Bird's drive, passing, or rebounding and those all matter (in aggregate) more....but Tatum is a profile the Celtics have not really had. The closest is really Pierce, who wasn't as natural as Tatum is or as versatile

Do not think TMAC is a super close comp, he's vastly more athletic and very different in the way he scored and way he defended (not sure he was a better defensive player, but very different). Julius Erving is closer to me, as is Durant. Erving was far more acrobatic, but Tatum has a chance to reach same level of impact. Durant is (of course) a much better shooter but not the driver that Tatum already is. Erving is the reverse, really.

Offensively, there's a bit of Alex English there....Tatum is a much better defensive player. Basketball Reference has Carmelo as number one comp---that's not horrible either, at least not offensively...different games at that end up but not wholly dissimilar impact. Defensively, well....I'd rather have Tatum
So here is a thing to think about. I'm not sure what the best stats are for looking at players from earlier eras, so I'll just use the admittedly flawed basketball reference metrics.

By both PER and BPM, Bird's peak very clearly ran from his age 25 to age 31 seasons. Beginning in 1981-82 and running through 1987-88. Seven years. And he crashed after his peak, playing only 6 games due to the Achilles injury and never being close to the same after that. His four absolute best seasons were his last 4 peak years, ages 28 to 31.
  • Bird's age 23 and 24 years were this: PER 20.2, BPM 4.4, Traditional stats: 21.3/10.7/5.0.
  • Bird age 25: PER 22.6, BPM 6.6, Traditional stats: 22.9/10.9/5.8.
  • Bird age 26: PER 24.1, BPM 7.5, Traditional stats: 23.6/11.0/5.8.
  • Bird age 27: PER 24.2, BPM 7.6, Traditional stats: 24.2/10.1/6.6.
  • Bird ages 28-31: PER 26.6, BPM 8.9, Traditional stats: 28.1/9.7/6.8.
In terms of age, Tatum is still earlier than the beginning of Bird's peak window:
  • Tatum ages 19-22: PER 17.9, BPM 2.2, Traditional stats: 19.4/6.3/2.7.
  • Tatum age 23: PER 21.3, BPM 4.9, Traditional stats: 26.9/8.0/4.4.
  • Tatum age 24 (in progress): PER 25.1, BPM 5.8, Traditional stats: 31.3/8.3/4.3.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Tatum reminds me a lot of Havlicek. Can score inside and outside, plus defender, good passer when the opportunities are there. Different body types, and Havlicek never had to worry about a three point shot, but both of them could get points in bunches in the flow of the game, without the hero ball.
 

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Tatum reminds me a lot of Havlicek. Can score inside and outside, plus defender, good passer when the opportunities are there. Different body types, and Havlicek never had to worry about a three point shot, but both of them could get points in bunches in the flow of the game, without the hero ball.
I was thinking the same thing.
(Must be a Parsons St thing)
 

TripleOT

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Tatum is the prototype of a wing player in today’s NBA. On defense, he can easily guard 1-4, and even hold his own against many 5s. His offensive bag is overflowing, with incredible ability at all three levels.

Celtics fans have been gifted the perfect basketball player: a right sized basketball fanatic, trained from a young age like a pro, with an insane work ethic and desire to improve and add to his game; humble, team oriented, win oriented, clutch, and affable, with just the right amount of style and panache. Plus we got the added bonus of being able to watch him grow up as an NBA player, playing every early NBA minute in a crucible, a day one starter on a veteran laden team who has thrived in every role thrust upon him, from rookie complementary player, who accurately shot set up threes, to lead dog. And he was able to fill those very diverse roles in his rookie season, leading a team missing their two leading pieces to within a couple of makes to the NBA Finals at age 19.

I never thought I would see a Celtic who could credibly challenge Larry Bird for the title of best all around Celtic. Titles, plus longevity, gets Tatum in that conversation.
 

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I never thought I would see a Celtic who could credibly challenge Larry Bird for the title of best all around Celtic. Titles, plus longevity, gets Tatum in that conversation.
Is Larry Bird the best "all around" Celtic?

Best Celtic: Russell
Best Celtic, defense: Russell
Best Celtic, offense: Bird, with Tatum in pursuit.
Best Celtic, scoring: Tatum, maybe Pierce if you think Tatum hasn't been at that level for long enough yet
Best all around Celtic: Havlicek?, with Tatum in pursuit.
 

InstaFace

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I've been trying to think of a comparable player and I keep coming back to Julius Erving. Granted, Tatum is probably better defensively that Erving was, but they were/are both prolific scorers who mix creativity, athleticism and a variety of shots styles. Some of their statistics are pretty close.

Who do you think is a fair comp for JT?
An upper-middle-class man's Lebron James. Combination of power and ability to drive and dunk / finish in a million ways, defense 1-5, shooting from midrange and 3, passing vision, health, and ability to shine or share the spotlight depending on what his team needed of him. No weaknesses to his game, always adding new tricks, always wants to be taking the game-winning shot. And also a great human being off the court, and being able to keep all needed focus on basketball while also having other aspects to his life.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
23,153
I don't see a LeBron comp at all. Tatum is a much better shooter than LeBron, but LeBron was basically the most physically dominant player in the NBA for 15 years. The most amazing assemblage of physical skills we had ever seen in a basketball player except for maybe Wilt and Shaq, and the undisputed best athlete in the NBA, probably up until Giannis began to hit his prime. He has also been probably a top five passer in the NBA for almost his entire career, and while Tatum has made strides in that regard, he's far below LeBron incredible court vision.